Self-professed ‘condiment rockers’ Chutney are a relatively new act on the Gold Coast music scene, having formed in late 2019 and featuring members of established local acts Augusta, Hot Coffee and the Stingin’ Rogers. Announcing their arrival off the back of impressive singles ‘Gone On Time’ and ‘Genie’s Lamp’, the taut and atmospheric indie rock four piece have just dropped an insistently catchy new number which goes by the name of ‘Outcast’. It was recorded at Lovestreet Studios, with the ever-prolific Scotty French jumping in on keyboards, and mastered by the Grammy nominated Brian Lucey, whose credits include The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys.
With the release of their debut EP imminent, we got chatting to the lads to discover when it will be out, how they’ve been coping during COVID as well as their ever-burgeoning love for that condiment that gave them their name. Take it away Chutney ..
Congratulations on your pumping new track, ‘Outcast’. How did it come together and is there a story behind it from a thematic viewpoint?
Thanks very much. Outcast tells the story of entangled love – being outclassed from the start and fighting an uphill battle, but nevertheless enjoying it at the time. The song writing began with Matt on his acoustic guitar; influenced by the thrashy rhythmic sound of Hockey Dad, he decided to build from that idea. The remainder of the song was brought together with the band and really started to develop after Cal added his Smiths-esque lead guitar lines. Ultimately, we were happy with the final outcome – it’s a little less thoughtful and a lot more fun.
The band are relatively new on the scene, arising from a few other local bands – can you put us in the picture as to how you guys came together from your previous projects to form Chutney?
Cal, Matt and Pat have been friends from school/ uni for many years and have played in multiple bands together for the past five years or so – Matt and Cal working together in the still active group Hot Coffee and Pat and Cal in rock band AUGUSTA. Through working in both bands and gaining experience with the process of being in a band, we all realised somewhat of a gap in our musical creativity, as a large portion of the music we listen to and classify as our musical inspirations were not being represented in the electronic hip-hop of Hot Coffee and the 70’s inspired classic rock of AUGUSTA.
Chutney was formed out of our shared love of rock bands like Sticky Fingers, Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes, which combine tight rhythm sections and atmospheric and intricate guitar lines with lyrical song writing. The final piece of the puzzle was finding Andy to play drums, whom Pat and Cal had met through AUGUSTA playing some shows with his other band Stingin’ Rogers, and his shared inspirations and desire to be in a band like Chutney provided the perfect combination and timing for this little ‘supergroup’ of Gold Coast bands to be formed.
I understand that you’re working on a debut EP – how’s that coming along and when can we expect to hear it?
We sure are. The self-titled five track EP is set to become available through all the usual platforms on 4th September and consists of previously released single ‘Genie’s Lamp’ and current release ‘Outcast’, as well as three new unheard tracks, including our focus single ‘Adelaide’, which is due out on the 21st of August.
The tracks on the EP provide a nice look into how our range of influences have influenced our song writing – all of the tracks on the EP had been written many months ago (and for certain songs, years ago) and we’re very keen for everybody to hear what we’ve got to offer.
How has the band coped during these crazy COVID times? And with the (fingers crossed) transition back to live music, do you have some upcoming shows to spruik?
It’s been challenging that’s for sure, with initially being unable to meet up for jam sessions and also being unable to play shows taking away from the live performance and instrument-playing element, which is a big part of what being in a band is all about. However, it has been a good opportunity to write a lot of new music, as well as really work on the behind the scenes marketing, admin and networking that is a necessity to becoming successful in today’s music climate.
If all goes to plan, we have a number of shows tentatively booked for September and onwards, including an EP launch at BBQ Bazaar on September 4th, a slot on Broadbeach’s Crafted Beer & Cider Festival bill, a support slot at Vinnie’s Dive on September 26th and an October show at Brisbane’s Black Bear Lodge. Fingers crossed the government regulations and ever-developing social environment allows for these shows to go ahead, but even if they do unfortunately get canned we will be ready and raring to go for whenever the happy day comes, where we can all get back into our favourite venues and play some rocking shows.
As a light hearted aside, as self-professed ‘condiment rockers’ are you all fans of the condiment you’re named after!?
We have to admit that we don’t consume a great deal of chutney in our day-to-day diets! The name originated from guitarist Cal, as he thought it was a funny and distinctive word. When Chutney first formed Cal and Matt were work-shopping a bunch of songs that Matt had written (some of which made their way onto the upcoming EP) and they used the name as a placeholder, and it eventually just progressed into being the right name and staying put.
We have explored some chutneys off the supermarket shelf through Matt’s “Chutney Reviews Chutney” video series on Instagram with varying success – I’m sure once we find the right one it’ll make its way into regular rotation on our toast.
Butter up on your Chutney and be sure to head along to one of their upcoming series of shows. Their brand new track, ‘Outcast’, has just been released, which we’ll be reviewing in our upcoming New Music column.